3 Gifts from My Friends

The problem I had with the JOY DARE today is that I am blessed to know some very strong women, and it was hard to pick just three. Here are the ones I have chosen:

67. Martha–Martha is a discerner of truth. We don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything, but if I am having doubts about a course of action, Martha can call it.

68. Donna–Donna doesn’t think she is strong, but she is. She is an artist, but I don’t just see her art in her paintings. I see it in how she consistently makes something out of nothing in her life. She faces life, and she deals.

69. Hannah–Hannah is also a very strong woman. She has battled cancer and survived. She even worked the majority of the time she was being treated, and she faces the future with a peace that inspires me.

These three women make me better for having known them.

3 Gifts That Might Never Have Been

Here are 3 gifts that might never have been, save for the grace of God:

64. my marriage–it’s a long story that I will probably never tell, but God did create beauty from ashes there

65. my son–I was in a head-on car collision when I was eight months pregnant with him, and those were pre-seat-belt days. I had toxemia, and when I went in the hospital to have him, my blood pressure (they told me later) was 210/170.

66. my relationship with my older sister’s family–God worked a LOT there to bring us closer.

Gifts around the Clock

Today’s JOY DARE was to find a gift before nine, a gift before noon, and a gift after dark. ¬†Here are mine:

61. before nine-got to school safely though the roads were icy, and a student held the door for me

62. before noon- a student I don’t even have in class anymore saw me, crossed the hall and gave me a big hug, and then went on his way. That was a God moment!, and

63. after dark–the laughs we share at aqua zumba, where it is OK for middle-aged women to shake, rattle and roll ūüôā

Borrowed, Found, Inherited

It suddenly dawned on me that, if I want to record a thousand blessings in a year, I should number them consecutively, which would make today’s 58, 59. and 60.

Here goes:

58. a grace borrowed–a green pen to grade stems quizzes. Grading kept me busy, NOT bored.

59. a grace found–this poem/song–Hymn to God the Father by John Donne, and

60. a grace inherited–my height. I am six feet tall. I was 5’11” when I was eleven, and I thought, for a long time, that my height was a curse. I can finally say that, at almost 57, I am at peace with it.

3 Things Blue

Today’s JOY DARE was to find 3 things blue, which you might think would be easy, but I had to look all day. Here they are:

1. the English hallway,from which I felt somewhat exiled but where I now spend all of my time

2. my winter jacket, courtesy of the daughter. 3/4 of my winter jackets are hand-me-downs from the daughter. What’s up with that? ¬†And finally,

3. Indiana’s “In God We Trust” license plate. Not every state has these, and I feel fortunate to live in a state that does.

3 Gifts Found in Christ

Today’s JOY DARE is to list three gifts found in Christ. Here are mine:

1.¬†Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15)

Boy, am I glad He loved us that much!

2.¬†Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Jesus made it clear that the only way to eternal life is through Him. I am thankful for that because I have tried (and still do, far too often) to find my own way, and it really doesn’t work out.

3. John 10:27-30

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.

Jesus keeps His sheep safe. Me included. I rest in that a LOT.

Wrinkled, Smooth, Unfolded

Today’s JOY DARE has to do with graces that are wrinkled, smooth, and unfolded. Here are mine:

1. a grace that is wrinkled–the sheets on the inflatable mattress in the living room that remind me that the daughter slept here last night

2.a smooth grace–baby Maggie, who also spent the night at my house with her mom and her big sister

3. a grace unfolded—instruction given to the daughter twenty years ago that she now thinks are fit to follow.

Hiding Away in My Blog

I haven’t been on my blog for a while because, well–life intervened.I think I’m ready to come back, though, and I’m starting with the JOY DARE. I was listing things on Facebook, but I found that I was spending too much time thinking about how to word them (because of the audience, I think). It gives me joy to (or sometimes a little frustration ) to look for these things in my day, and I think I should just write them down and enjoy them here, where I can be semi-anonymous me. So–here’s what’s up for today:

1. one thing in the sky–the cardinals I saw, so red against all that snow. Cardinals are also the Ohio state bird, but the hubby agrees with me that Indiana cardinals are more brilliantly red than those in Ohio.

2. one thing from my memory–I was talking with the daughter this morning, and we were talking about things that happened before the hubby and I married, things that were not easy and of which I am not particularly proud. However–the point of this conversation was so that I could tell her that I think I had to go through those things to be who I am. Her journey through life has taken a different shape than mine, but the Bible says that things happen so that Jesus can make us more like Him, and I was trying to tell her that those things have a purpose. She never reads my blog, but I’ll say this to her anyway…”You’re getting there, baby. You’re getting there.

3. something that is ugly-beautiful–the snowblower. I am all thumbs when it comes to a lot of equipment, although I use far more than my mother did. ¬†The snowblower looks like a big ugly thing, but the daughter is arriving late tonight, and the hubby used it to clear the drive and sidewalk so that she and the friends she is bringing will walk to the house on dry pavement. That makes the snowblower (and the man who operated it for me) beautiful.

I guess that’s all I need for my first visit in quite a while. Don’t worry, little blog. I’ll be back.

Giving Thanks Nov. 4th

I am thankful that I currently am eligible and insured for my uber-expensive RA medicine. It keeps me mobile and relatively pain-free. ūüôā

I am grateful that a certain 9-yr.-old boy called me last night. I thought it was the daughter. Had to laugh when I answered the phone with “What’s up?” and he gave my standard reply. We talked for about half an hour, and I got to say prayers with him before we said good-bye.

Giving Thanks, Day 1

I know it’s Nov. 3rd. Better to get started creating the Thanksgiving mood late than never, though.

1. I am grateful that the hubby’s close encounter with the chain saw only resulted in band-aids.
2. I am thankful that I work in a place where people feel free to gather and pray for their co-workers. About a dozen of us gathered yesterday after an announcement was made over the PA. And how wonderful is that, that nobody was afraid to make the announcement?
3. I am thankful that my dentist got me in right after school since my crown fell off at lunch.

I try to have an attitude of gratitude all year long, but I find that writing these things down right before the holidays helps me keep things in perspective. It’s been a while since I blogged. Hopefully, I will have the discipline to keep this up.


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